Sony ended the year with a bang in regards to its PlayStation 4 console, tacking on 5.9 million unit sales during the holiday season. That strong finish propelled the PS4's lifetime sales total to a whopping 73.6 million units globally. Overall, it was one heck of a month for Sony, which just weeks before had topped 70 million in cumulative PS4 sales, more than doubling Microsoft's Xbox One lifetime shipments.
Both game consoles were launched just over four years ago in November 2013 and have seen revisions since then, such as the Xbox One S and Xbox One X for Microsoft, and the PlayStation 4 Slim and PlayStation 4 Pro for Sony. Sony and Microsoft have also pushed their respective online gaming services, with the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers on the PlayStation Network now topping 31 million.
"PlayStation Network continues to demonstrate spectacular growth, with the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers surpassing 31.5 million, and PS Store recording its largest-ever monthly sales of content in December 2017. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our community and our partners for helping us achieve such phenomenal milestones. We promise our unwavering commitment to bring more amazing experiences to our fans, including exclusive games and innovative network services, as PS4 continues to flourish as the best place to play," said John Kodera, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment.
On the software side, Sony said it racked up nearly 60 million PS4 game sales during the 2017 holiday season, which is a combined total of both hard copies sold in retail stores and digital downloads purchased through the PlayStation Store. Added to all previous sales, Sony has sold 645 million games as of the end of December.
In other words, Sony is crushing it and has not yet reached the finish line. An analyst at IDC recently predicted that cumulative PS4 sales will hit 100 million units by the end of this year. That's not unrealistic—to reach that figure, Sony would have to average 2.2 million PS4 sales per month through 2019.
It also helps that the industry is pushing 4K hardware and content pretty hard. The PS4 Pro is basically a faster version of the PS4, with support for 4K gameplay and high dynamic range (HDR) visuals. PS4 owners who upgrade their big screen TV to a 4K model may be tempted to upgrade their game console, as well.